A NYer’s dinner in the boonies.Jan 7th, 2009 | By Alkillous | Category: snewz
I am surrounded by gas stations that have an endless supply of Dunkin Donuts, which America really does seem to run on, and there is a McDonald’s and a Burger King approximately 10 miles away. Normally, I cook for myself, but I felt like going out for dinner and neither McD’s nor Burger King would cut it.
My mood was for the high quality cooking of Taco Bell, so I checked the internet and discovered that there isn’t a Taco Bell for nearly 20 miles. I am not a particularly green individual, but I did think that 40 miles round trip was a bit much for a 7-layer burrito and a crunchwrap supreme.
My next instinct was to check for a Starbucks. I suppose it must be a part of my nature. They have some pretty good sandwiches, so I figured it would be worth a shot. Starbucks’ website showed the nearest location was 30 miles away. Confused, I double-checked with Google Maps and saw that it was true. Clearly I was going to have to rough it.
I then decided to look up “food” on Google Maps. The nearest place was a paintball park. I called, they were closed. The next closest spot was a pizza place. They were open. I knew that I wasn’t going to be getting my beloved NY pizza out here, but I couldn’t have expected what I saw when I got there.
The staff seemed to look about right. There were some cute girls working in the area of the counter, young guys bringing empty boxes up, and a somewhat balding, hairy man who seemed to be running things.
The man addressed me, and I started with the most logical question when in a strange land, “How large are your pies?” He told me 14″, but I was confused. 14″ is closer to the radius of a pizza from my understanding, but he picked up a circular piece of cardboard that had “14 inches” written on it. I ordered two pies; a pepperoni and a pepperoni with mushrooms. I paid and the man gave me a ticket. The number was 62, and I’m pretty sure I was the 62nd person ever to buy pizza from them. I had 15 minutes to kill, but since it was about 10 below outside, I figured I’d just watch them make my pizza.
The first thing I noticed was that my pizza was being prepared in a pan. I looked around for the long pizza paddle and was left disappointed. This was going to be a Chicago-style pizza. Bah!
I watched as they began working at approximately 1/8th the speed at which a normal human would move. This is commonly referred to as a relaxed pace, but from a NY perspective, it’s just annoying. The worst of it was that nobody seemed to recognize that they were all moving so slowly. It was as though time itself had fallen out of sync. I was hoping one of them would drop something so I could measure the effects of gravity in their environment, but no such luck.
Watching every step of the procedure of pizza making was surreal. When I came into the place, I felt like I had entered a strange country, but seeing them make pizza, I was sure that they were from outer space. Clearly they had never seen pizza made before, but overheard a radio conversation about its ingredients and shape, which they seemed to get mostly right.
I watched the staff go about their business. The balding guy was frying up some kind of meat and staring at the girls. The girls were taking everything apart and cleaning the hell out of everything. This pizza place was so clean I’d let them do open heart surgery on me in there. Just watch out for the anal probes.
Suddenly, a middle aged woman came from the back, wielding a bat’leth. I thought I was about to see a massacre, when one of the young guys pulled a pan of pizza out of the oven. She pushed him aside and in one fluid motion, flipped the pizza out of the pan and sliced the pizza in 8 slices, tossing the pan across the kitchen with the weapon into a box full of pans. I blinked, and she was gone. The guy who greeted me gave me my pies, and sent me on my way.
The truly mystifying thing about the pizza was that it wasn’t bad at all. Sure, it was no “Sal and Carmine’s” but it was more than acceptable.